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A faulty heating and cooling system was the latest in a long string of events affecting the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Washington last week.

The malfunction Friday, Nov. 1, caused the Washington Fire Department to shut down the heating and cooling system and notify the Franklin County Health Department.

The visit by the health department was the third in less than a month as there have been multiple violations found at the restaurant this year, including a sewage backup.

According to inspection reports from Nov. 1, obtained by The Missourian, additional violations were found unrelated to the heating and cooling system.

The report prohibited the use of the fryers until approved by the city.

“Currently, grease built up on wall and breakers are taped in the electric panel,” the report says. “One outlet wrapped in grease-covered plastic bags. Outlets need to be replaced due to grease in them.”

The report  also mentioned the condition of the fryers themselves.

“Fryers are covered in grease, dirty baskets, etc.,” the report states. “All food contact surfaces must be cleaned and sanitized.”

In addition to what are classified as “critical” items, the report lists several noncritical violations which must be addressed by Nov. 15.

• Exhaust fan in the center of the kitchen needs to be cleaned due to grease buildup.

• All of the fryers need to be cleaned, repaired and in proper working order. Panels are falling off, covers are missing and they also leak.

• Need to clean the floor under, and the wall behind the fryers.

Complaints

County health inspectors had just been at the restaurant the day before as a follow-up to issues found during an inspection on Oct. 7.

During that inspection, the restaurant was ordered to replace lights in the kitchen, clean trash from under dry stock shelves, clean behind fryers and shelves.

Also at that time, management was informed all employees were required to receive hepatitis A vaccines. It is noted in the Oct. 31 report that all employees had been vaccinated.

In late September, the health department received a complaint from a patron regarding sewage backing up in the ladies restroom.

The report from an inspection conducted Sept. 20, states the toilet in the ladies room would not flush and was currently filled with fecal matter.

“Floor drain has toilet paper around opening, management claims the backup started on Sept. 19,” the report says. “Management states Roto Rooter will be servicing the ladies room ASAP. The facility is to cease food production if the backups persist or reach other areas of the kitchen or stock room.”

On May 6, the health department received a complaint about the back door of the restaurant being left open during business hours and flies were noted inside the building.

At the time of inspection, the back door was closed and employees were advised to keep it closed.

Past Violations 

In the summer of 2018, after being closed down by the health department for multiple violations, the restaurant was closed early for already scheduled renovations and reopened that summer.

About a year ago the Washington Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant was shuttered by the Franklin County Health Department Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018.

The closing was prompted after complaints of sewage backing up from floor drains.

The report concluded the restaurant could not reopen until the sewage system was repaired completely and other repairs and cleaning were done.

Multiple other violations were found at that time.

In March 2018, KFC was shut down for 48 hours after an impromptu health department inspection following a small fire at the business.

At that time, county inspectors found six critical items and more than 25 additional noncritical infractions.

Topping that list were electrical outlets along the wall with the fryers having grease buildup and needing to be replaced. This was the fourth time the same infraction was noted.

Although all food items were at safe temperatures, mold and moisture were found inside the walk-in cooler on the ceiling and walls.

Mold also was found on an ice scoop used to fill drink orders for the drive-thru.

Additional critical violations noted were all surfaces in the restaurant needed deep cleaning, and several areas were unsanitary. This was the third violation for both of these items.

Restaurant owners were directed to repair or remove from the restaurant several pieces of equipment still not functioning properly, including a broken and leaking warmer and pressure fryer.